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Bristol's Colston Hall Pledges To Change Name By Autumn 2020
Christian Eede , June 8th, 2020 15:53

The building's signage will be removed until the new name is decided

Bristol music venue Colston Hall has committed to a change of name by autumn 2020 following the toppling yesterday of Bristol city centre's Edward Colston statue.

While a new name is being decided, the Bristol Music Trust, which operates the venue, says the building's signage will be removed "as a demonstration of our commitment." The venue is currently closed for redevelopment.

"The current name does not reflect our values as a progressive, forward-thinking and open arts organisation," the trust said in a statement shared today (June 8). "We want it to be representative of the city, a beacon of its values of hope, diversity and inclusion."

The trust originally announced plans to change the venue's name in 2017, setting out intentions to complete the process by spring 2020. Consultation on a new name was delayed, the trust says, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in a number of staff being placed on furlough.

The newly renewed commitment by Bristol Music Trust to change the venue's name follows on from the toppling yesterday of the city's Edward Colston statue during a Black Lives Matter protest. The statue, which was erected in 1895, was thrown into the harbour after it was brought down.

Colston was a slave trader, whose company transported more than 100,000 slaves – including men, women and children – from west Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas between 1672 and 1689. At least 20,000 died during the crossings due to conditions on the boats, their bodies thrown overboard.